One of the most important decisions you can make as a leader in the church or in the business world is who you add to your staff/team.

In my 14 years of professional coaching, bringing on the wrong person is the most costly mistake I have observed, which has caused no end of headache and heartache.

Dan Rockwell shares some excellent insight on hiring (or adding key volunteers) new leaders and the surprising way to maximize their success.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell


 “The biggest hiring mistakes happened when I was tired and under duress. We really needed help.”

Jeremie Kubicek, co-founder of  the GIANT companies, mentioned two worst case scenarios. One occurred when he hired a friend and tried to force them to fit. The second occurred when he didn’t find alternative candidates.

4 factors for successful hiring:

  1. Include others. Jeremie said, when looking back on a hiring mistake, “I should have had two or three board members be part of the process.”
  2. Determine what the role needs, not just who you feel personally comfortable with. In one case, Jeremie said, “I should have looked for a true leader. I looked for someone to copy me.”
  3. Understand your biases because of your personality. Read, 5 Voices, by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram.
  4. Seek to develop diversity of personality on the team. Too often teams end up with only two or three personality types.

4 ways to maximize new hires:

  1. Provide opportunities for the team to get acclimated.
  2. Describe what success looks like. Share expectations openly.
  3. Help new leaders see what they can’t do well. “You’re going to fail and that’s alright,” Jeremie said.
  4. Balance challenge and support. Stay close during the first 100 days.

Conscious incompetence:

“The goal is to get new leaders to conscious incompetence as quickly as possible.” Jeremie Kubicek

Jeremie referenced, the Four Stages of Competence, model developed by Noel Burch.

  1. Unconscious incompetence. Individuals are unaware of how little they know.
  2. Conscious incompetence. Making mistakes is one way to enter this stage.
  3. Consciously competent. It takes conscious work, like going through steps, to practice new skills.
  4. Unconsciously competent. New skills become second nature.

Build a relationship that allows new leaders to make mistakes.

Leaders who maintain the facade of competence hamstring personal growth and team success.

What hiring tips might you suggest?

How might a new leader get to conscious incompetence quickly?

*This post is the result of a conversation I had with Jeremie Kubicek. I found his book, 5 Voices, a fascinating read.